Former state senator seeking 1st District seat

MARION, Iowa (AP) — A former state senator says she’ll seek the Democratic nomination for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.

Swati Dandekar, of Marion, announced Tuesday on her website that she was confident she could win her party’s nomination and the general election.

Dandekar has served in the state House and Senate. She resigned in 2011 when Gov. Terry Branstad appointed her to the Iowa Utilities Board.

Others Democrats seeking the seat include Cedar Rapids attorney Dave O’Brien, state Rep. Pat Murphy of Dubuque, and Cedar Rapids businesswoman Monica Vernon. Waterloo lawmaker Anesa Kajtazovic also is considering the race.

Businessmen Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids, and Rod Blum, of Dubuque, are seeking the Republican nomination. Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha says he’s considering running.

Incumbent Democrat Bruce Braley is running for U.S. Senate.

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